B.C.’s New Democratic Party asked citizens of the province to vote for change.
But in the first hour after polls closed Tuesday night in the provincial general election, the electoral map was looking much the same as it had before the 2013 election writ dropped.
With all ballot boxes reported, MLA Claire Trevena beat out Liberal challenger Nick Facey in her bid for a third straight term.
At the same time, she retained a continued role in opposition as the Liberal party grabbed majority of legislative seats province-wide in a wholesale turnaround from pollsters predictions..
With 153 of 153 ballot boxes counted, Trevena took the seat with 10,591 votes over Facey’s 8,863 (50.53% to 43.29%). Conservative candidate Bob Bray got the remaining 1,506 votes (7.19%).
Province-wide the Liberals defied predictions of a comfortable NDP victory, winning 50 seats, the NDP claiming 33 seats, while one Green and one Independent also claimed seats.
As the first of the North Island’s ballot boxes were counted, Facey jumped to the early lead, 49 per cent to Treven’s 42, with Conservative candidate Bob Bray collecting the remainder of the votes.
As ballots continued to trickle in the gap closed, until the two were running neck-and-neck, at one point separated by just seven votes with more than 1,500 counted.
That matched the party race between the Liberals and the NDP, with 12 members of each party confirmed as elected within an hour of the polls closing.
The North Island District, made up of much of the Comox Valley and communities to the north, has 40,514 registered voters. Of those, more than 10 per cent (4,652) took advantage of advance polling in their local communities.
Prior to Tuesday’s general election, Student Vote B.C. polled elementary and secondary school students throughout the province.
In the entire North Island district, Trevena claimed a four-point win over Liberal challenger Nick Facey. But the lone school on the far North Island to take part, Eagle View Elementary in Port Hardy, chose Facey by a 51-46 margin.